What is it about?

India is a rapidly growing player in the global economy, which makes it important to the fight against climate change. But India’s developmental goals and evolving policies make it hard to predict its carbon future. Assessments of India’s future emissions all have different results. This study looks at India’s current climate policies, as well as developmental status to model its carbon future. India is starting from a low-emission threshold. Even if India’s emissions double by 2030, it will still meet its Paris emissions intensity pledge. Also, this projected value will still be below the global average of carbon emissions in 2018. The trends in recent Indian policies also suggest that the country will move from coal to renewable energy faster than expected. Its energy demands will also be less than previously thought.

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Why is it important?

Predicting climate futures for developing economies like India’s is difficult. To help development, emissions will need to increase. But balancing growth with the fight against climate change is tricky. The methodology provided in this study is useful to analyze developing countries. The model includes energy demands and future energy needs, as well as different ways in which policy in developing countries can develop. It also clearly and transparently lays out the different assumptions behind the model, which allows people to interpret its results better. KEY TAKEAWAY India’s role in the future fight against climate change might not be as big as previously assumed. The growth in India’s emissions will be less than expected because of the countries rapid transition to renewable energy. Predicting climate change contributions of developing economies needs to account for national development, not only carbon emissions.

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This page is a summary of: India’s energy and emissions future: an interpretive analysis of model scenarios, Environmental Research Letters, July 2018, Institute of Physics Publishing, DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/aacc74.
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